Ever since I started to cover gender-identity ideology, I've been fascinated by where the ideas came from. When did people first start to claim that being a woman doesn't simply mean being an adult human female? How has the distinction between the notions "sex" and "gender" evolved? When did some people decide that everyone has an innate gender identity, and that it is that gender identity which makes you a man or a woman, no matter what sort of body you have? How on earth does anyone think that sex is a spectrum? And does any of this matter anyway?
Then I met some detransitioners, and I became absolutely certain that it mattered hugely. This is an ideology with serious real-world consequences. Some of the worst are for children, who are increasingly being taught in school that what makes you a boy or a girl is adherence to stereotypes that I thought had been left behind in the 1950s. Right from the start of primary school they are being told that it is possible to be "born in the wrong body", and that the sole solution to feeling alienated from your sex is a medical pathway that is sold as "becoming your true self", but in reality leads to being a lifelong patient, with limited sexual function and perhaps sterile.
Other groups that are seriously affected include women, who are being condemned as bigots for wanting single-sex spaces where male people cannot enter. And, in theory, everyone is affected by the notion that what makes you straight or gay is the "gender identity" of the people you are attracted to, rather than their sex. But in practice it is gay people, most of all lesbians, who come under pressure to consider sexual partners whose sex puts them outside their dating pool. Many transwomen—people who are male, but identify as women—regard themselves as lesbians, and regard lesbians who don't as bigots.
So I decided I had to write a book about it all. My agent is Caroline Hardman of Hardman & Swainson LLP, and I'll use this website to publish updates about the book and its progress. If you'd like to receive (very) occasional updates, then subscribe to my mailing list, on the top right of any page.